A tough test on the road awaits Cobh Ramblers on Friday night when they travel to take on a very much in-form Galway United side at Eamonn Deacy Park (7.45pm kick-off).
Coming into this particular contest in the West Of Ireland, Ramblers find themselves in 8th position in the First Division standings, which is presently seven points off the final play-off position currently occupied by Bray Wanderers.
Cobh were victorious 1-0 on their most recent trip to Galway last September and they would dearly love if there was a repeat result in their favour on Friday.
Ramblers last time out after initially taking the lead, they were to fall to a 2-1 loss at the hands of Bray away at the Carlisle Grounds.
It is starting to turn into the story of Cobh’s season in terms of playing reasonably well for large spells, but unfortunately having nothing in terms of points ultimately to show for it.
Similar to the Bray game, Ramblers took the lead against runaway league leaders Shelbourne and also promotion play-off candidates Athlone Town, only to eventually end up on the losing side of proceedings.
Ramblers will be hoping to get at least a point from their trip Friday. But Cobh boss Stuart Ashton will be all too aware of the challenge which will be posed by this Galway side.
“We know what John Caulfield's sides are about. They’ll be well organised and they’re a tough team to beat.
“They’ve hit a little bit of form at the minute so we have to be prepared for that.”
Ramblers had added to their ranks in the July window with two new additions thus far. Among those is Nathan O’Connell.
As a Cobh native, O’Connell is looking forward to the prospect of testing himself at League Of Ireland level with his local club.
Players like Jake Hegarty and Killian Cooper coming up from Munster Senior League to the League Of Ireland have made an impact.
Now the former Cobh Wanderers and UCC man will be seeking to do likewise.
“They have all been great, coming in and stood up straight away. So hopefully now I can follow in their footsteps and play as good, if not better than them,” described O’Connell.
“I played with Ciaran Griffin at Cobh Wanderers for about a year and a half. He was up front and I was in midfield, so we had a good connection between the two of us.”
Things have really started to click into gear for John Caulfield’s Galway side in recent weeks.
The Tribesmen have won their last four league games in a row.
This includes wins over Athlone, Cabinteely, Treaty United and most recently a 2-0 away win against UCD.
Goals from Ruairi Keating and Wilson Waweru were enough to secure the three points for Galway away to UCD, as Caulfield’s charges now find themselves in 2nd place in the First Division table.
Speaking after the UCD victory last weekend, Caulfield described how he feels things are starting to click into gear for Galway.
“We are trying to create a winning mentality and get the club back into being very competitive. We want to bring joy to the club and the supporters.
“Thankfully we are back up the table but there is still a long way to go. Now we get prepared for the Cobh game on Friday night."
In terms of team news, John Kavanagh and Regix Madika look set to remain out for a few more weeks at least given their injuries. The club have also confirmed Martin Coughlan and Kevin Williams have left Cobh Ramblers in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, the Ramblers U19s recorded an impressive league victory, 4-3 at home to Shelbourne last weekend.
Timmy O’Reilly got two goals for Cobh, along with one each from first-team man Ciaran Griffin and Tiernan O'Brien, which helped see Ramblers come from behind twice to grab the win.
A number of Cobh main squad members lined out in this U19s win, including the likes of Caelin Rooney, Chris O’Reilly and Fionn Duggan.